Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Logan's Road Back to Style

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Logan's Road Back to Style

Article excerpt

Logan wants to encourage teens to celebrate fashion instead of giving up on it, to enjoy attention-getting styles and colors. "Do your makeup still. Do your hair still. Keep living, keep living, keep living!" she says.

Logan Olson couldn't believe she'd just tripped. But there she was, waiting to cross the stage at her high school graduation, when her new black shoes nearly sent her sprawling.

There was still time to back out, retreat to the audience with her parents. But then Logan would miss her only shot at crossing the stage before her younger brother. She'd spent hours rehearsing at the Spokane Opera House, practicing long after her classmates went home.

A few years earlier, Logan, who was born with congenital heart disease, didn't know if she'd ever walk again, let alone graduate. She'd been walking through a haunted house on Halloween 2001 with her dad and two brothers when she suddenly collapsed. She survived the heart attack, but fell into a coma that left her with a brain injury.

When she woke up, Logan thought she was 10 instead of a 16-year-old with a boyfriend and driver's license. She couldn't hold up her head, talk or swallow. She had to learn the most basic skills, like chewing and brushing her teeth, all over again. It took a month to sit up, 2-1/2 months to focus her eyes.

A nurse suggested filling Logan's hospital room with stimulating things that are important to teenage girls, such as clothes, lotions and music. And it worked. Soon Logan was mouthing the words to a favorite Christian music CD.

After 7 months at Sacred Heart Medical Center and St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane, Wash., Logan went home. She could feed herself and stand. But she still had a long way to go.

"I wanted out of sweat pants," says Logan, who has two closets jammed with trendy clothes, shoes and scarves. "I love to shop so much."

So, fastening the buttons on her Gap jeans and tying shoes became part of her therapy. She also longed to wear makeup again, but found the bottles and tubes impossible to open and hold properly with uncooperative fingers.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

She pored through fashion magazines for alternatives, but came up empty-handed. And that's when the idea struck: The world needs a magazine for young women with disabilities. A magazine featuring girls like her, with tips on easy-to-handle beauty products and clothes. She envisioned a place where they could share advice on meeting challenges and living well.

Logan wants to encourage teens to celebrate fashion instead of giving up on it, to enjoy attention-getting styles and colors. …

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